Much of the cycling I do is more or less aimless. Sure, I train up for events like 3 Peaks every so often, but most of the time I’m just riding because it’s fun, because I like staying fit and because I enjoy the social side of cycling. But I find it useful to have a goal to work towards; something that can help focus my efforts and give greater structure and purpose to the cycling I’m doing.
For this reason I’ve decided to set a few targets for myself, the most significant of which is to ride 10,000km in 2012. I know these sorts of resolutions are supposed to come at the start of the year, but in January I had no real idea of how many kilometres I could realistically cover in a year. Now I’ve got a bit of an idea.
As of yesterday (Tuesday August 14) it was exactly 20 weeks until the end of the year. At that point I’d done roughly 5,540km for the year which means I’ve got 20 weeks in which to ride 4,460km. That’s 223km per week.
Some of you out there will be saying ‘Pfft! Big deal!’ but for me 223km in a week is quite a bit. So far this year I’ve averaged 173km a week, meaning I’ll need to find another 50km a week on top of what I’m already doing. I know I can manage 223km in a week — hell, I did 220km just last weekend — but sustaining that over 20 weeks will be a challenge.
My plan is to do a longer ride every Saturday or Sunday, with perhaps a shorter ride on the opposing day. As well as my commutes (17km per day) I’ll need to do some more mid-week riding. That will become a more appealing prospect once daylight savings arrives and it starts warming up.
So that’s the main goal. But I’m keen for it not to become a quest for junk kilometres just to hit a target. I want to use the extra time on the bike to get stronger, fitter and faster. Accordingly, I’m setting myself the additional challenge of notching up 120,000 vertical metres for the year. I’m currently sitting on a touch over 69,000m meaning I’ll need to average 2,550m a week.
Beach Road rides just aren’t going to cut it!
Speaking of Beach Road, I’ve got a couple of long challenge rides coming up that will help notch up some kays, but also improve my fitness. There’s Amy’s Gran Fondo on September 16, the Hobart 10,000 at the end of September, and Bicycle Network’s Around the Bay in a Day on October 21.
Beyond that there’s 3 Peaks 2013. While the event obviously won’t count toward my targets for this year, the training will … particularly if I can find a way to get up to the Alps before the year is out.
I’ve also got a couple of other, minor goals I’d be delighted to achieve before 2012 winds to a close, which you can see in the summary below. These might all be beyond my reach, but I’ll give them a crack and see how I go.
- Ride 10,000km (an average of 223km per week from here on in)
- Climb 120,000 vertical metres (2,550m/week)
- Get on the podium in a D-grade race
- Go under 21 minutes on the Kinglake climb (current PB: 21 minutes 41 seconds)
- Go under 18 minutes on the 1 in 20 climb (current PB: 18 minutes 37 seconds)
So,what are you hoping to achieve on the bike for the rest of the year? Are you willing to set yourself a target and stick to it? I’d be interested to hear your thoughts.